- The definition of afraid is to be filled with fear or regret.
- The experience of hearing an unfamiliar noise in the middle of the night is an example of afraid.
- The feeling someone gets when realizing they can't pay their mortgage is an example of afraid.
This person is afraid.Licensed from iStockPhoto
Origin: Middle English affraied, past participle of affraien, affray
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Filled with fear: afraid of ghosts; afraid to die; afraid for his life.
- Having feelings of aversion or unwillingness in regard to something: not afraid of hard work; afraid to show emotion.
- Filled with regret or concern. Used especially to soften an unpleasant statement: I'm afraid you're wrong.
Origin: Middle English affraied, past participle of affraien, to frighten, from Old French esfraier, esfreer, to disturb, of Germanic origin; see prī- in Indo-European roots.